I used to think that companies had the customer’s best interest at heart. I mean surely companies that packaged products for innocent babies would only put the best ingredients in their products and make sure they are safe enough for them, right?
Wrong. I discovered this after my oldest had a horrible reaction to Aveeno’s ‘Natural’ lotion. Trying to figure out what was causing him to break out in a rash I did something I have never done before. I turned the bottle over and started reading the ingredients. My head swirled as I looked at a list of ingredients I had no clue how to pronounce let alone what they meant. I discovered that the ingredients in his baby lotion were known carcinogenic (cancer-causing ingredients). It felt like the weight of the world came crashing down on me. I sat on the floor, almost in tears, baffled that I could no longer walk into CVS and trust that those products were safe for me and my family.
What was I supposed to do? Being a first-time mom was hard enough. Now it just felt lonely. At the time I didn’t have the circle of like-minded women I have today. I didn’t know what to do or where to begin. But after wallowing in my sorrows for a while, I stood back up, dusted the dirt off my shoulder, and realized I CAN and WILL figure this out. That is the thing about us women. We are strong and resilient.
Not knowing what companies I could trust I started making my own products from scratch. I went to the basics: castille soap, coconut oil, shea butter, etc. You name it, I made it. I started with products for Logan since he was having reactions. I continued to research and learn about ingredients. I learned what ingredients to avoid and also as important what nourishing ingredients you want in your products.
What I have discovered is that there are no regulatory groups that have your best interest at heart. I have learned that brands use terms like “natural,” and “green” to make you think their products are safe for you and your family when they aren’t. So we are creating our own narrative. We strive to live a toxin-free lifestyle. Toxin-free for us means that the products we use in our household do not have any ingredients that have research or evidence to cause harm.
Over the past six years, we made small changes that lead us to where we are today in achieving this toxin-free lifestyle. As we ran out of products, we replaced them with safer options. Are we perfect? No. Are we still learning? Yes. Are things always changing? Yes. Am I still flipping products over and reading ingredients? You betcha. We like to adopt a 90/10 lifestyle. 90% of the time we eat and use clean products. And that 10% is where we give ourselves so grace. And I hope you give yourself some grace too.
My hope is that our journey inspires you to live the best lifestyle for you. My hope is that our journey to clean living has paved the path for you and your family to adopt a clean-living lifestyle. I have taken all I have learned over the years and developed tools and resources to help make your journey easier. I hope that you find my master safe swap list and amazon storefront make choosing healthy products for you and your family as my boys would say, ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy!’